Universities’ induction into the future digital campus

Universities across the UK have experienced a monumental shift over the past year. The pandemic and government restrictions have challenged the fundamental aspects of university life

What were once buzzing campuses filled with learning, socialising, and collaborative research, are now empty, lifeless corridors and classrooms.

The pandemic has tasked everyone – from students and researchers to leaders – to contend with numerous challenges and re-evaluate the way they learn and operate.

As we have seen from news reports, students are concerned that online lectures and social isolation have hindered their academic success and social life. This has led to students like Yolanne Lee, an electrical and electronics engineering student at University City London, making big changes to their approach to learning.

Meanwhile, many university leaders, such as Michael Rovatsos, professor of AI, deputy vice principal of research, and director of the Bayes Centre at the University of Edinburgh, have been grappling with the task of replicating the valuable experience of campus collaboration online.

This has meant the long process of identifying where traditional processes no longer fit and how they can be changed, as well as asking what the best tools are to facilitate a worthy tertiary education.

While these challenges have manifested in people’s lives in different ways, the common concern is technology. How can it provide the university experience needed? Is what universities have put in place good enough? And how can it be improved and incorporated into the future of education now investments have been made?

An opportunity to challenge tradition

While university life may have been fraught with difficulties and changes, opportunities for better efficiency and more innovation can often bloom under these circumstances. And this has inspired our most recent research: The Digital Campus: Delivering for students beyond the pandemic.

Here we’ve collated our findings to help universities understand:

– How students want the university experience to improve, and how leaders can implement these changes.

– How universities can optimise infrastructure, operations, and processes despite lack of budget.

– How the tech that’s been invested in so far can be harnessed to build sustainable, long-term growth.

To bring you these findings we’ve worked with Coleman Parkes to survey 500 higher education decision-makers and 2,100 students from a diverse range of institutions.

While the campus will always be at the heart of universities, the pandemic has shown that technology and digital transformation can offer new realms for students, researchers and leaders to explore.

These realms make up the digital campus.

You can learn more about our findings here: The Digital Campus: Delivering for students beyond the pandemic.

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